Kenyon College

We are All Keynesians Now . . .?


Dominic McGill

We are All Keynesians Now . . . ?. 2011.

Graphite and collage on paper.

28 x 36 inches.

Courtesy of the Artist and Derek Eller Gallery.




In one sense we are all Keynesians now; in another, nobody is any longer a Keynesian. — Milton Friedman, Time Magazine, 1966


Horror vacui: If you want to appeal to a wealthy, educated consumer base, opt for minimalist advertising; if you’re wooing a poorer, less-educated audience, opt for clutter. The idea behind this advertising principle is that graphical chaos drives down a product’s perceived value. In this piece, Dominic McGill plays up that assumption. His clusters of text at once suggest a 16th century map populated with fantastical creatures, a vintage broadsheet, and Theo van Doesburg’s Dadaist posters. And McGill’s swarm of information is a buzzing critique of the nation’s economic and social elite. In the top right corner, the adage “too big to fail” hangs over former Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson like a demonic halo. Below him, a dragon spews plumes of smoke: executive excess, class war? In the piece’s title, a lurking question mark challenges Milton Friedman’s claim that “we are all Keynesians now.” If government stimulus is the solution to an economic downturn caused by widespread deregulation and shortsighted greed, is Capitalism the best system after all? Perhaps McGill’s answer is his premonitory centerpiece: a collaged rendering of the United States without a middle.


Dominic McGill was born in England and holds an MFA from the Chelsea School of Art. His work is in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum. He lives and works in Brooklyn.


Caleb Bissinger ’13

Gund Gallery Associate